Venus retrograde gets off to a dramatic start in 2010. She stations retrograde just 12 hours after the New Moon in Libra, her ruling sign, which gives us a double helping of Venus energy!
Venus is in Scorpio and conjunct Scorpio's ruler, Mars. Venus is in her Detriment in Scorpio, meaning it's difficult for Venus' true nature to shine through. Venus burns a bit too hot in intense Scorpio. Her attractions can become obsessions and desires can become gnawing hunger. Love can become self-indulgent lust and war can become a vindictive grudge intended to wound out of spite.
However, Venus in Scorpio also knows how to reach the depths of intimacy and love. Venus' creativity rises from the root of the soul to express something raw and powerful. And in Scorpio, her powers of negotiation and persuasion can be extremely hard to resist.
Venus retrogrades back into Libra for a short time during this cycle. That means her retrograde station is in Scorpio, while her direct station is in Libra. We will face the challenge of re-examining and renegotiating Venus matters within Scorpio's deeply reflective, intense and passionate energy. However, the change of perspective and re-visioning of what to do with those retrograde challenges will come from Libra, which focuses more on cooperation, compromise, diplomacy and finding a fair balance between conflicts of interest.
Venus has an 8-year cycle that repeats within 5 signs at a time. In other words, Venus retrogrades in the same sign every 8 years, and each retrograde takes turns in a group of 5 zodiac signs (generally speaking). I say generally speaking because Venus sometimes turns retrograde in one sign and then moves back into the previous sign to turn direct.
If this sounds complicated—it is! But not impossible to understand. The best book I've found for understanding the Venus retrograde cycle is Anne Massey's Venus: Her Cycles, Symbols & Myths, which explains all about this fascinating cycle in wonderful detail.
If you map Venus' stationary-retrograde points out on the zodiac wheel and connect the dots, it looks like a 5-pointed star. (See the diagram at the beginning of this article.) This 5-fold pattern precesses, meaning that it edges backwards gradually through the zodiac at each retrograde cycle. Venus spends roughly 150 years (give or take about 5 years or so) being retrograde in a given sign, then takes a 100-year break, at which time it begins to spend some of its retrograde time in that sign again.
The last time Venus was retrograde in Scorpio was Oct.10 to Nov.21, 2002—8 years ago. At that time, Venus stayed in Scorpio for the entire retrograde cycle. Her retrograde station was at 15:36 and the direct station was at 00:03 of Scorpio.
However, in 2010 Venus moves back into Libra for the direct station. That's an example of the Venus precession—the retrograde span has edged backwards until it now dips into Libra. Over the coming years, it will edge further backward into Libra each time it begins its retrograde period in Scorpio (every 8 years).
The last time Venus was retrograde in Libra was 1903! This was at the end of a long period of retrograde cycles in Libra that began in 1759. (See? Around 150 years in Libra.) Venus will continue to spend at least some of her retrograde time in Libra from now until 2154 (again, roughly 150 years).
Therefore, the 2010 Venus cycle marks a rather significant shift in her retrograde patterns, since we are now beginning the transition from Scorpio to Libra. Venus has been in Scorpio for part of her retrograde phase every 8 years since 1906 and will remain there (for at least some of the retrograde time) until 2050.
in the US
This overlap of retrograde spans is very common, but changing from one sign to another is fairly rare. Currently Venus retrograde is occurring in Aries-Pisces (which just went from Aries to Aries-Pisces in 2009), Virgo-Leo, Aquarius-Capricorn, Gemini and now Scorpio-Libra.
What does it mean? Venus retrograde in Scorpio contemplates and examines relationships, finances, agreements, values and pleasure in terms of our passions, sensuality, intensity, intimacy, jealousy, psychology, emotions, creativity, empowerment and control issues. Moving into Libra, the focus is now beginning to shift from digging down into the core depths of underlying issues to what we can do on the surface of these areas to make them more harmonious, workable and balanced.
In this cycle, Venus is conjunct Mars when she turns retrograde. These two planets are engaged in a drama worthy of any TV soap opera! Venus and Mars met at the end of July as they moved into conjunction orb. Coincidentally, Mars had just moved into polite Libra and conjoined Saturn, who strong-armed Mars and made him promise he would behave himself. Subsequently, Venus and Mars fell in love, and when they reached the exact conjunction (0°) in Libra on Aug.20, Venus proposed marriage.
However, just as Venus was about to send out the wedding invitations, the two changed signs and moved into Mars' sign, Scorpio (Venus on Sep.08 and Mars on Sep.14). After being on his best behaviour in Libra, Mars began to relax once he was in his own territory and revealed his true nature—a brooding, burping, farting, oversexed, controlling Neanderthal who insisted that Venus sign a prenuptial agreement never to see old boyfriends whenever she leaves the house.
Now Venus is starting to have second thoughts and on Oct.08, when the Moon is New, she finally puts her foot down, stops in her tracks and refuses to go any further with Mars. Feeling confused, disappointed and offended, she has to reconsider how she feels and heads back to Libra to see if she can remember what she ever saw in the creep. Mars puts on his inscrutable I-don't-need-nobody face and waves "adios" as he moves on. A week later they are outside the conjunction orb and have officially broken up.
Venus stations direct on Nov.18. Just 4 days before that, Venus and Mars form a semi-square aspect (45°). Venus thinks she's snagged him this time, but by the time Venus turns around to grab him, Mars—now in carefree Sagittarius—is already out of orb and out of reach once again. Why? Because Mercury conjoins Mars and whispers in his ear that he's sure he saw a bunch of gorgeous babes over on the horizon somewhere.
By Dec.07, Mars has moved into Capricorn where he is exalted and much more responsible and reasonable. He starts to reconsider his feelings for Venus and notices that they are approaching a cooperative sextile aspect (60°). However, Venus is back again in Scorpio and remembers Mars' uncouth behaviour back in September and October. Before Mars can get closer than 3½ degrees, Venus picks up speed and employs her Scorpionic cloaking device and sneaks off into the shadows.
The story doesn't end there, though. Venus catches up to Mars in conjunction again on May.23.2011, this time in her other sign of Taurus. Here she again has the upper hand, while Mars is much more domesticated and sensible than he was in Scorpio. By this time Venus considers the possibility that with enough patience and pampering she can persuade Mars to be reasonably civilized. Just to seal the deal, she also gets stubborn and insists that she can be just as possessive as he is jealous, and if he ever wants to enjoy her sweet charms again, he'd better shape up and get real!
Planetary soap operas aside ;-) Venus makes other aspects during this time that add colour and flavour to this retrograde cycle.
When Venus turns retrograde on Oct.08.2010, she is in a sesqui-quadrate aspect (135°) to the Jupiter-Uranus conjunction, and makes 3 passes to this pair during her retrograde cycle (see dates below). This aspect is a square-like (90°) aspect, which creates a conflicted yet dynamic energy, and in this case also a sense of irritation and annoyance.
This aspect imprints the Venus retrograde period with the need to adapt and adjust your actions and position regarding Venus matters. For example, you might find that an agreement needs to be renegotiated while Venus is retrograde, and both sides may need to compromise a little more than is comfortable. Another example might be that your interactions with others could feel a little out of sync for a while, requiring you to frequently adjust your interactive style and approach in order to keep the peace. Finances, too, could require a revision of your budget or further investigation before making a major purchase, for instance.
Uranus and Jupiter both seek change that will open up new opportunities and possibilities for the future. Venus retrograde, therefore, will likely involve the need to make changes that will speak to the future and create enough room for growth and adaptation down the road.
Mercury makes several semi-square aspects (45°) to Venus during her retrograde cycle (dates below). This happens during virtually every Venus retrograde. These aspects can be times when you are likely to experience annoyance and irritation about the Venus retrograde energy, or be spurred into responding to problems and issues, or both.
Mercury also makes sextiles (60°) to Venus, which again is quite common. These are times when you could come up with creative solutions or imaginative uses for the Venus retrograde energy.
Venus also makes 3 sextile aspects (60°) to Pluto and the North Lunar Node during this cycle (dates below). This brings in opportunities to not simply make room for change, but to actually create deep-seated adjustments that create lasting benefits. These alterations can bring you into closer alignment with your true path in life, which will ultimately make it easier to achieve your goals and dreams.
However, sextiles are easy to overlook or take for granted and not use to their fullest extent. They represent creative potential. With the irritating, provocative energy coming from Mars and Jupiter-Uranus, it could be easy to get stuck in seeing the difficulties and miss the opportunities that they bring to you. Pluto urges you to trust this process and to look deep inside yourself in order to see creative solutions and responses.
In the area of relationships, it's very possible that issues of control and power may become a focus. This can apply to all kinds of relationships and interaction, not just intimate or romantic relationships. With Venus in sextile aspect to Pluto throughout this cycle, there is an opportunity to find new creative ways to deal with the need for empowerment or an imbalance of power that occurs between you and others.
The Venus-Mars dance underscores the need to find an empowering balance between your willingness to compromise and ability to stand your ground—hopefully without zapping the other person out of existence in the process. ;-)
Since Venus is also sextile the North Node during this cycle, be on the lookout for opportunities to reclaim your personal power which can align you more closely with ways to move forward and fulfill your life's purpose.
The sesqui-quadrates from Venus to Jupiter and Uranus suggest that you might have to think quickly on your feet for a while. Be willing to make adjustments, even though they might be annoying or inconvenient. If you respond to changing circumstances with "my way or the highway," you're much more likely to get a "%&#$ you!" in response. Stay engaged and cooperative, but remember that it's just as important for your needs and interests to be part of the solutions too.
To learn more about how Venus retrograde is affecting your natal chart and your own life, it's best to get a personal reading. I am available for private readings. We will explore your situation together to discover insights, clarity and solutions to get you through whatever is happening in your life. Contact me for more information.
All dates below are for 2010 unless otherwise stated, calculated for North American Eastern Time.
|Aug.02 2010||Venus D enters Libra||Direct motion|
|Sep.05 2010||Venus enters the Shadow||27:39 LI||Pre-retrograde Shadow phase begins.|
|Sep.08 2010||Venus D enters Scorpio|
|Oct.08 2010||Venus stationary retrograde||13:13 SC||Retrograde period begins.|
|Nov.07 2010||Venus Rx enters Libra|
|Nov.18 2010||Venus stationary direct||27:39 LI||Retrograde ends. Post-retrograde phase begins.|
|Nov.29 2010||Venus D enters Scorpio|
|Dec.21 2010||Venus leaves the Shadow||13:13 SC||Post-retrograde Shadow phase ends.|
|Jan.07 2011||Venus enters Sagittarius||Venus leaves Scorpio|
The table below gives dates and positions of important aspect that Venus makes during her retrograde cycle. Planetary positions show Venus first and the other planet second.
|ASPECT||BEFORE SHADOW||PRE-RETROGRADE SHADOW||VENUS RETROGRADE||POST-RETROGRADE SHADOW||AFTER SHADOW|
|Venus cnj Mars||Aug.20
|Venus ssq Sun||Sep.03
25:52 LI, 10:52 VI
12:00 SC, 27:00 SG
|Venus ssq Mercury||Sep.03
25:54 LI, 10:54 VI
12:32 SC, 27:32 VI
27:42 LI, 12:41 SG
12:54 SC, 27:54 SG
|Venus tri Neptune||Sep.04
|Venus tri Chiron||Sep.05
|Venus sxt Pluto||Sep.12
|Venus sxt Node||Sep.21
|Venus sqq Jupiter||Sep.30
12:10 SC, 27:10 PI
09:49 SC, 24:49 PI
09:46 SC, 24:46 PI
|Venus sqq Uranus||Oct.05
13:04 SC, 28:04 PI
12:46 SC, 27:46 PI
11:44 SC, 26:44 PI
|Venus cnj Sun||Oct.28
|Venus ssq Mars||Nov.14
27:56 SC, 12:56 SG
00:31 CP, 15:31 AQ
|Venus sxt Mars||(Nov.28 to Jan.07.2011)
© Wendy Guy 2010, all right reserved. Beyond brief quotes or strictly personal purposes, please obtain written permission from the author before reproducing this article. Image of Grand Cross copyright Wendy Guy.